Our most advanced imaging technique

PET/CT Scan at Anna Jaques Hospital

A PET/CT scan combines information from two powerful imaging exams: positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) imaging. This scan helps us clearly see your body’s inner structures. It also provides information about what’s happening inside your body on a cellular level. Often, it eliminates the need for other tests or procedures.

At Anna Jaques Hospital, we partner with Shields Health Care to offer PET/CT services. This groundbreaking technology makes it possible to detect disease and pinpoint its location with great accuracy. It helps us determine the extent of your condition and identify the best treatment approach.

PET/CT scans also make it easier to monitor your treatment progress. If your treatment isn’t working as well as we’d hope, we can quickly make changes.

Benefits of Our PET/CT Scan

For you, our scanner’s state-of-the-art scanner offers many benefits, including:

  • Earlier detection of conditions such as cancer than with CT or PET scan alone
  • Maximum comfort to decrease claustrophobic feelings, due to its fast scan times and spacious design
  • Reduced radiation exposure, which may be especially important if you require frequent follow-up

Our imaging specialists guide you through your scan. They make it as easy and as pleasant as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a PET/CT scan work?

Growing cells rely on glucose for energy. As part of your scan, we give you glucose that emits tiny particles called positrons. When the glucose moves through your body, it accumulates in cells that are more active than normal cells, such as cancer cells. Our scanner identifies these areas based on the positrons they emit.

The CT portion of the scan enables us to see the precise location of abnormal cellular activity.

Why are PET/CT scans performed?

A PET/CT scan can help you in a number of ways. For instance, it may allow us to:

  • Detect very small areas of cancer and stage the disease
  • Diagnose advanced heart disease
  • Differentiate Alzheimer’s disease from other types of dementia
How should I prepare for a PET/CT scan?
  • If you’re pregnant or think you might be, talk with your doctor about whether or not to have this test. In most cases, we don’t do PET/CT scans when you’re pregnant.
  • If you have diabetes, please inform us ahead of time. We’ll work with your doctor to develop a plan for preparing for your scan.
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything or chewing gum for four to six hours before your test. We recommend that you drink plenty of water.
  • If you don’t have specific dietary restrictions, you should eat a low carbohydrate diet 18 to 20 hours before your scan.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities, including yoga, walking, running and weightlifting, 24 hours prior to your exam.
  • Continue taking medications prescribed by your doctor. If you need to take your medicine with food, take it with a few soda crackers four to eight hours before your scan.
What To Wear

On the day of your scan, wear comfortable clothing that will keep you warm. The exam is performed in a cool room. We recommend sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Avoid clothing with heavy buckles or metal components.

What To Bring

Please bring with you:

  • A copy of any previous pathology reports
  • A copy of your medical history
  • A list of your current medications
  • Reading material or music you enjoy
  • Records of any previous CT scans, PET scans and X-rays
  • Your insurance card(s)
When To Arrive

We ask that you arrive one hour before your scheduled appointment time.

What should I expect with my PET/CT scan?

Before your exam, we start an IV that we use to give you glucose. Then, you rest quietly for about an hour as your body absorbs the glucose. Depending on the type of PET/CT you’re having, we may also give you a contrast agent by mouth. Then the scan will take place. It lasts about 20 to 30 minutes.

After Your Scan

After your scan, you may leave right away. You can drive yourself and take your prescribed medications. There are no restrictions on your activities, diet or exercise after the scan. However, as a precaution, it’s best to avoid close contact with infants or anyone who is pregnant for eight hours after your test.

When Will I Get My PET/CT Scan Results?

One of our doctors will review your scan and send a report to your primary care provider. Your provider will then contact you to discuss your results. The results also may be available through our patient portal. This process may take several days.

Contact Us

Services & Specialties

Our imaging experts work with many different specialists at Anna Jaques to make sure you receive an accurate, timely diagnosis and effective treatment.

We’re Here to Help

Feel free to call us if you have any questions.